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LASG wants abandoned vessels’ owners to pay damages

Governor Babatunde Fashola

Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola has said owners of abandoned vessels on its shoreline will pay for the ecological damage caused by the wrecks.

Fashola said this on Tuesday during the opening ceremony of the 6th Climate Change Summit on Victoria Island with the theme, ‘Exploring Business Opportunities in Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation: Lagos State in Focus’.

He added that the presence of the abandoned vessels posed a great danger to the ecology of the state.

The governor said professionals would be hired to identify owners of such abandoned vessels to enable the government to pursue claims against them for ecological damage.

He said, “We will go all out to ensure that owners of abandoned vessels on our shoreline in Lagos pay for the ecological damage caused by their wrecks. We will engage professionals to assist the state in identifying owners of such abandoned vessel to enable government to pursue claims against them for ecological damage.”

The  governor said the state was doing all within its power to  tap into the emerging opportunities across the world for insurance business to secure the risk of damage to public assets against events of nature that were once thought to be excluded risks.

He explained that the government had developed several initiatives geared towards converting the adversity of nature into prosperity.

He said projects such as the Eko Atlantic City, the Groin Construction project, Alausa, Lagos; and Akute Power Projects, were initiatives adopted for effective mitigation and adaption of climate change in the state.

Fashola said the Lagos Independent Power Project, Akute Independent Power Project and the Alausa Independent Power Project had led to the decommissioning of 141 diesel fired generators and reduce carbon emissions.

President, International Council for Local Environmental initiatives, Mr. David Cadman, who presented the lead paper, emphasised the need for leaders at various levels in the country to explore the economic potential of the impact of climate change.

He pointed out that two-thirds of the world risked devastating consequences of environmental changes such as global warming and possible rise in water level.

Cadman suggested a paradigm shift in energy generation from generators to bio-gas, wind, solar and geo-thermal while efforts should also be stepped up in massive tree planting.

The British Deputy High Commissioner in Nigeria, Peter Carter, in his goodwill message, commended the efforts of Lagos in leading the crusade on environmental protection.

The Commissioner for the Environment, Mr. Tunji Bello, said the 2014 conference was aimed at having robust exploration, geared towards finding solutions to the economic and business aspects of climate change.

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